If Lisa Marie Determined The Oscar Nominees….


The Oscar nominations are due to be announced on Tuesday morning so I figured now would be a good time to play a little game that I like to call: “What if Lisa had all the power?”  Below, you will find my personal Oscar nominations.  These are the films and the performers that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for selecting the nominees and the winners. 

For those who are interested, you can check out my picks for last year by clicking on this sentence.

Please understand, as you look over this lengthy list of deserving films and performers, that these are not necessarily the films I expect to see nominated on Tuesday morning.  In fact, I would be hard pressed to think of a year in which I have disagreed more with the critical establishment than I have this year.  For whatever reason, the films that truly touched and moved me in 2011 appear to be the films that are totally and completely off the Academy’s radar.  These are not my predictions.  Instead, they are my personal choices and they should not be interpreted as representing the opinion on anyone else affiliated with this site.  So, if you’re angry that David Fincher’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo didn’t receive a single imaginary nomination, direct your anger at me and me alone. 

Best Picture

The Artist

Bridesmaids

The Guard

Hanna

Higher Ground

Hugo

Shame

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Young Adult

Best Actor

Michael Fassbender for Shame

Brendan Gleeson for The Guard

Gary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Michael Shannon for Take Shelter

Rainn Wilson for Super

Best Actress

Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia

Vera Farmiga for Higher Ground

Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene

Saoirse Ronan for Hanna

Charlize Theron for Young Adult

Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks for Drive

Bobby Cannivale for Win Win

Jonah Hill for Moneyball

Patton Oswalt for Young Adult

Andy Serkis for Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Supporting Actress

Anna Kendrick for 50/50

Melissa McCarthy for Bridesmaids

Carey Mulligan for Shame

Ellen Page for Super

Amy Ryan for Win Win

Best Director

Vera Farminga for Higher Ground

Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist

Steve McQueen for Shame

Martin Scorsese for Hugo

Joe Wright for Hanna

Best Original Sreenplay

Bridesmaids

The Guard

Hanna

Shame

Young Adult

Best Adapted Screenplay

Higher Ground

Hugo

Incendies

One Day

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Animated Feature

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

Rio

Winnie the Pooh

Best Foreign Language Film

(Please note that I do this category a bit differently than the Academy.  Whereas the Academy asks nations across the world to submit a nominee, I’m simply nominating the best foreign language films that I saw in a theater last year.  Those who follow the Oscars will note that I’ve both nominated and awarded the brilliant Canadian films Incendies, which actually was nominated for a real Oscar in this same category last year.)

The Double Hour

Incendies

Of Gods and Men

The Skin I Live In

13 Assassins

Best Documentary Feature

Bill Cunningham New York

Buck

The Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Jig

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Best Original Score

The Artist

A Better Life

The Guard

Hanna

The Tree Of Life

Best Original Song

“The Star-Spangled Man” from Captain America: The First Avenger

“Mujhe Chod Ke” from DAM999

“The Keeper” from Machine Gun Preacher

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets

“Pop” from White Irish Drinkers

Best Sound Editing

Drive

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

Best Sound Mixing

Drive

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

Best Art Direction

Bunraku

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Cinematography

The Artist

Hugo

Melancholia

Shame

The Tree of Life

Best Makeup

Beastly

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Insidious

Sucker Punch

X-Men: First Class

Best Costume Design

Bunraku

The Help

Hugo

Sucker Punch

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Best Editing

The Artist

The Guard

Hanna

Hugo

Shame

Best Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

Hugo

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Sucker Punch

The Tree of Life

List of Films By Number of Nominations:

10 Nominations – Hugo

7 Nominations – Shame, Sucker Punch

6 Nominations – Hanna

5 Nominations – The Artist; The Guard; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2; Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy; The Tree of Life

4 Nominations – Higher Ground, Young Adult

3 Nominations – Bridesmaids, Drive

2 Nominations – Bunraku, Incendies, Melancholia, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super, Win Win

1 Nomination – Beastly, A Better Life, Bill Cunningham New York, Buck, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, DAM999, The Double Hour, 50/50, The Help, Insidious, Jig, Kung Fu Panda 2, Machine Gun Preacher, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moneyball, The Muppets, Of Gods and Men, One Day, Puss in Boots, Rango, Ressurect Dead, Rio, The Skin I Live In, Take Shelter, 13 Assassins, X-Men: First Class, White Irish Drinkers, Winnie the Pooh

List of Films By Number of Oscars Won:

3 Oscars – Hanna

2 Oscars – Bunraku, Shame, Sucker Punch

1 Oscar – Beastly, Bridesmaids, The Cave of Forgotten Deams, Dam999, Higher Ground, Hugo Incendies, Melancholia, Puss in Boots, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Super, Young Adult

So, will the Academy agree with my picks?  Well, probably not.  Indeed, it’s probable that they won’t agree at all.  And to that, I say, “Oh well.” 

The Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning.

The Toadsuckers Have Spoken: 15 Semi-Finalists for Best Documentary And Still No Room for Werner Herzog


Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the titles of the 15 semi-finalists for the Best Feature Length Documentary Oscar.  This list will, of course, be narrowed down to the 5 final nominees.

Without further ado, here’s the 15 semi-finalists:

  • Battle for Brooklyn(RUMER Inc.)
  • Bill Cunningham New York(First Thought Films)
  • Buck(Cedar Creek Productions)
  • Hell and Back Again(Roast Beef Productions Limited)
  • If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front(Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)
  • Jane’s Journey(NEOS Film GmbH & Co. KG)
  • The Loving Story(Augusta Films)
  • Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory(@radical.media)
  • Pina(Neue Road Movies GmbH)
  • Project Nim(Red Box Films)
  • Semper Fi: Always Faithful(Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc.)
  • Sing Your Song(S2BN Belafonte Productions, LLC)
  • Undefeated(Spitfire Pictures)
  • Under Fire: Journalists in Combat(JUF Pictures, Inc.)
  • We Were Here (Weissman Projects, LLC)

My response as I look at this list is: “Huh?”  Which is to be expected because I live in Flyover country and, as a result, our local theaters don’t get sent all that many documentaries.  Still, I have to say that, as someone who tries her darndest to keep up with these things, I’m not familiar with a lot of these films.  I saw Buck in the theaters and I watched Bill Cunningham New York via OnDemand after my sister recommended it to me.  I meant to see Project Nin when it briefly played at the Dallas Angelika but, for whatever reason, I missed it.  (I may have been burned out on movies about chimpanzees after seeing Rise of the Planet of the Apes.)  I’ll definitely see Paradise Lost 3 if it ever manages to get down to my part of the world.

If anything surprises and disappoints me, it’s that Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams isn’t on the semi-finalist list.  Neither are two other documentaries that I loved — Jig and Resurrect Dead.  (I have to admit that I’m not sure if those two films were submitted for consideration or if they would have even been eligible to be considered.  I just know that I enjoyed them when I saw them OnDemand.)  I’m also surprised that The Paper isn’t on the list of semi-finalists.  I haven’t actually seen The Paper but just judging from the trailer and the subject matter (The New York Times struggling to remain relevent), it seemed like the type of documentary that traditionally seems to get nominated.

Finally, despite the fact that I haven’t seen it, I would kinda like to see Paradise Lost 3 win the award if just to honor the entire Paradise Lost series.  After all, if not for those films, the West Memphis 3 would still be sitting in prison.  Every year, during the Academy Awards ceremony, we have to sit through some pompous speech about how documentaries can change the course of history.  Well, the Paradise Lost films actually did and, again taking into consideration that I haven’t seen the actual film yet, it seems like that deserves to be honored, no?

(And before any of you excitable types start bitching and whining — and you know who you are — Undefeated is a documentary about a high school football team and should not be mistaken for The Undefeated, the documentary about Sarah Palin that also came out this year.)